Sometimes a strong rebuke is in order. The sin we see in the lives of those we love and lead is so serious that we must respond with intensity. This is the loving way to handle egregious departures from the truth.
But more often the sin is subtler, and the best way to respond is the path of an affirming challenge.
A Strong Rebuke
The occasional strong rebuke has biblical precedent. When Peter opposed Jesus’ path to the cross, the Savior responded with a passionate reprimand: “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23).
And when Paul received word that his Galatian converts were trading trust in God’s grace for self-reliance, love prompted him to respond with severity. Their erro…